Photo Caption: Christian Arroyo, of Gurnee, Illinois, suffers from CP as a result of an untreated “Group B Strep” infection. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times)
A federal judge in Chicago recently upheld a verdict to award the family of an 8-year-old quadriplegic $29 million.
The court ruled that Christian Arroyo’s cerebral palsy could have easily been prevented, and occurred as a result of doctors’ negligence to identify a “B Strep” infection after birth. Christian was delivered at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and was cared for by doctors from Chicago’s Erie Family Health Center.
“Because of the doctors’ failure to detect the infection, Christian suffered severe and permanent brain injuries,” court documents said. “If the doctors had promptly treated Christian, it is likely that the damage done to Christian’s brain would have been significantly reduced.”
“Group B Streptococcus (GBS)” is a bacteria that exists in the vaginal and gastrointestinal tracts of up to 50 percent of women. It typically poses no threat to its carrier, but can put unborn children at severe risk for serious infection (especially those born prematurely). “B Strep” is usually passed on while a baby is in the birth canal, and is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns.
Christian, who was born nearly a month premature on May 16, 2003, reportedly exhibited several symptoms of having a GBS infection. Symptoms of Group B Strep can include:
- Breathing difficulties
- “Grunting” sounds
- Unusual behavior